4 Positive Changes to Make in Your Life During 2017

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

The new year is coming up quick and if you haven't already been thinking about your resolutions, it's probably time to start. Unlike all of the other yearly holidays, New Year's Day is truly a chance to reinvent yourself, take on new challenges and make positive changes in your life. If you need a little help figuring out how you want to change this year, here are 4 ways that you can make your life better.

Read More

OK, ok, so you always hated to read right? You find books boring and think it's extremely difficult to stay focused enough to get through one. Chances are, that you just haven't found the kind of books that you like. Genres of books range dramatically and if you haven't taken some time to experiment, you may be missing out on something you could really love. Incorporating more books into your life can have a lot of benefits. In fact, a psychological study conducted at the New School of Social Research found that literary fiction readers have an increased ability to understand the emotions of others. Reading also exposes you to new vocabulary which has been known to help increase test and IQ scores.

Learn a Marketable Freelance Skill

If you are stuck in a job you hate, worry about the future of your career or are too dependent on your current position, listen up. Learning a marketable skill that you can not only freelance but also do from your computer will be extremely beneficial to you. Not only does this kind of work allow you to make money on the side but it also could give you the freedom to quit your job, work independently of location and ease the stress of losing your current position. Even if you love your job, an injury like the common ones listed here could put you out of work with no way to make the income you need to support your family. Think about learning to write, take photographs and video, do web design or offer social media management. You can use sites like to learn the skills and sites like Upwork and Fiverr to market them.

Try Alternative Healing

The beginning of a new year is the perfect opportunity to try new things that could bring benefits into your life. There are tons of alternative healing methods out there, many of which help with general well being or prevent future health problems. Instead of just going to your physician or psychologist, consider trying something new. According to the National Center For Complementary and Integrative Health, acupuncture can treat neck, lower back and knee pain as well as reduce stress and stop frequent headaches. Acupressure can decrease energy blockages, aromatherapy can decrease stress and anxiety, and Reiki helps to put energy into the body for quick healing and increased well-being.

Try New Things

Taking the time to try new things can really open your mind and your heart up to the world. Trying new things can also open doors in your career and social life as well since you will probably meet people that you never would have otherwise. Make a conscious effort to try something new either every day or week of the new year. Look up restaurants in your area that serve a cultural cuisine that you've never tried before and go there for dinner. Take day or weekend trips to places that you've never been. You can join a class, a meet-up or a sports team to learn something new and meet people with interests that may be foreign to you. Whatever you do, keep an open mind and don't let anything be off limits! You may be surprised by what you discover.

Which one are you most willing to try this year?